EMP preparation efforts


I have been hearing more and more about a possible EMP attack and have decided to start specifically preparing for such an event. Preparing for an EMP event has not been a major part of my preps. My emphasis has been putting away food, water, firearms, ammunition, etc. to prepare for what is most likely. I am now reaching the point in my preps that I have started putting a few things away in case of a solar or EMP event.



I already have some steel ammo boxes of varying sizes and have started securing some supplies. Obviously my concentration in these ammo cans is electronics. Additionally, I am employing the “multiple layer” for protection. This involves placing a box, inside a box, inside a box for maximum protection. Maybe I will detail this in a future post.

Here is my question:

What items do you think should be stored away in case of an EMP attack or solar event?


Lets hear it folks – I will summarize responses and give my own take likely next week.



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25 thoughts on “EMP preparation efforts”

  1. A good layering plan is to seal your separate items in anti-stat bags, line your metal boxes entirely, including a top, with an insulator,(cardboard will do) and make sure your lid makes a metallic seal with the box (foil tape). My vaults are also in metal sheds with wood floors.

    small solar chargers, team radios, all other comm. equipment, spare ECUs and coils for your vehicles, note book or laptop, duplicates of all of your personal and prepper files on jump drives (2 copies on different drives) any other force multipliers you can duplicate (lasers, dot sites, NVDs) I’m sure I have much more sealed away but it has been awhile. Most of this is packed in its original shipping to provide a good insulator from the metal can.

    I have actually turned two large galvanized garbage cans into vaults and they have been loaded for the last two years. The contents duplicates all of my prepper electronics including spare charge controller and inverter for a solar set up. I am adding a third can that will contain the 450 watts of flexible solar panels that I have. Hopefully my battery bank will not be connected and it will survive. I expect many if not all of my un-protected solar panels will take a hit. (I may be able to salvage some undamaged cells from each panel)

    Think worst case: That this is all the electronics you will have. Start collecting the contents from that perspective. Regards, D.

  2. Ooops, very important: test equipment (multimeter at the least)and gas or battery soldering and electronic repair equipment. You are going to want to have some means of determining what is truly blown and what you can salvage, and the means to do repairs. D.

  3. Ham radio equipment. And multiband radios to listen to shortwave signals.

    Handheld radios, and base stations. You will need to have them, if the major electrical grid should go dark to have any info on what is happening outside of your visual range. Radio broadcasts can usually be listened to much farther away than you can hold a radio conversation, but I would refrain from talking anyway to avoid unwanted visitors.

    If you haven’t yet, get involved with the local ham radio club. Like anything else, if you don’t know how to use your gear before the flag goes up, it may be nearly impossible to learn afterward.

  4. Comm gear and solar power equip. was already covered pretty well, and second the laptop and test equipment suggestion. Some other items in my cages:

    Dakota Alert motion sensors
    Police scanner
    Battery chargers (AA/AAA and 20A 12v)
    Smoke alarms
    Sound amplifying headphones (hunting type)
    Wall warts of various types
    Solar path/garden lights
    Electronic scales (milligrams up to a couple pounds)
    1kW Honda generator

  5. Most of us already own a Faraday cage, our simple microwave oven is one. Although it is designed to prevent microwaves from beaming out and cooking our brains when we look at the popcorn bag expand, however, you can use it to store electronics as well, Faradays work both ways.

  6. There’s no end to the amount of stuff to store.
    At our retreat we buried several spare ecu’s, a complete ham station, 3 generators, a milking machine and other do-dads.
    We used a burial vault to put the stuff in.
    Double shink wrapped everything, put them in mylar bags and then placed them in waterproof bags.
    Put it all in the vault, sealed it with the gasket then used silicone caulking and added five layers of industrial shrink wrap.
    Dug a hole 8 ft.deep, dropped it in, put 2 lead plates to cover the top and filled in the hole.
    Sounds harder than it is.

  7. Those are all very good suggestions. I do have one addition that may not be important to some people but I have an extra laptop with just two things on it. All my pictures and documents, and my entire Kindle library. Most of my library involves how to books on survival and homesteading.

  8. How do you protect things that you use every day, like computers, etc? They might be out of the box when the EMP hits. And then at night they might be connected to a charger! The things in the box would have to be things that you normally do not use, which might require having two of some things, i.e., one that is used all the time and the other for after the EMP hits.

  9. Is it possible to use an insulated ice chest or beer cooler made from styrofoam as a Faraday cage? Would the static charge penetrate the styrofoam?

  10. Bill: now you are getting the idea. Most everything plugged into the electrical grid may well be toast, including your house. Have a few fire extinguishers close at hand. Fires from overloads will be common.

    Methane; NO! this is not a simple static discharge. Google faraday cage and EMP.


  11. Methane creator.

    The styrofoam doesn’t stop electro-magnetic energy. If that is the type of pulse then it will pass right through as if the equipment weren’t even in the box.

    A faraday cage is effective up to the point that the pulse has a frequency that is higher (shorter wavelength ) than the grid of the cage. Kind of like shooting .223 into a grid designed to stop 1 inch projectiles.

    For broad coverage a fully enclosed metal box will do the job.

  12. Electric company suggests pulling plug on TV’s etc to conserve power leakages/spilkes over night; now if you put TV’s, computers or any large electronic devices on any wood furniture all you need to do use a box to cover item toped with an emergency blanket at night/vacation.
    Make it a daily ritual to charge ALL cell phones, laptops etc before bed time. If any warning given you could pull the main circuit braker for safty.
    A sturdy metal file cabinet can work as a Faraday Cage, you will need to cover holes and spaces with metal (duct work) tape. Put electronic stuff in non metal boxinsid of cabinet and use as an extra work space/table. Not sure if grouding is nessasary. You could also use a boxes in a Mylar bag but first ding box corners to keep from ripping the bag. other ideas; galvanized trash can with tight fit lid, wrap a wooden box with real metal window screen material, get roll of metal tape at ACE.
    A stash of batteries will only last so long so invest in a wind up clock.

  13. Lots of good ideas already. In addition to what’s been posted: All of my 12v camping appliances including a portable ice-maker machine. Don’t laugh – many medical and bartering uses in addition to sipping a cool one. Electronic medical equipment. Portable hand-tools – drill, recip saw, etc. motion-sensor-solar lights, battery chargers a inverters. Digital camera, watch and clock. Not sure I would bury a metal trash can underground – condensation?

  14. I really need to handle this one. This is something I have been putting off but I love the idea of getting all files and photos on a lap top and put away. Can someone give me a cheap list (say under $100) of things to START with for a cage? Will batteries not work? (Can I put batteries in it?) What about a cheap cell phone? It doesnt make sence to me that service would work though.

  15. My main question is if an emp does happen who will be left to talk to? We talk about communication but if I have a radio and no one else does what then?

  16. JD: in any disaster scenario, short of falling into the sun, there will always be at least a small percentage of survivors. So also it will be for comm gear. There will be someone somewhere to talk to. Although It may talk some time for you to make contact. D.

  17. JD,
    Any emp will be a localized event.
    A solar flare’s damage will depend on the time it stikes the earth (rotation) and the earth’s axis when stuck (season).
    A man made emp will be line of site and even more localized.

  18. wow, the replies to this post have me overwhelmed about how woefully unprepared for such an event I am…@Rourke, or any posters…what is an easy way to start? I’m thinking backing up on flash drives is probably a good start, and relatively inexpensive…I have a TON of ebooks that would be helpful in SHTF, while the actual print books I have don’t cover half the topics…I get you can make faraday cages cheaply…I am on a fixed income, and this is an area I need to work on…if I store stuff on flash drives, I need an inexpensive device to store with them…like the idea of storing pics of important documents as well as family photos…

  19. Grammyprepper – consider spending one weekend without electricity. That’s a realistic way to start. Very quick you will know what electrical assets you miss and/or need the most. Make purchases based on priorities – even if it takes longer to acquire while you save money to make your purchase. Prioritize assets as life-saving, life-preserving or life-enhancing. It keeps you in perspective so you don’t get overwhelmed. …At least, that’s my advice as a recovering new-bie.

  20. @Grammyprepper – I would love it if Rourke did that kind of article. Maybe a weekly prep list to include 1 to 3 things a week to get started? I’d love that! Cheap to start please!

  21. Grammyprepper – If you own a microwave use that as a farady cage for small items (make sure you don’t turn it on while the things are in it), this is something most people already have, if you do not have one you could probably find one that doesn’t work for free check your local adds in craigs list or e-bay, or garage/yard sales. The microwave does not have to be functional, although it does need to have it’s door intact.
    You can also try wrapping items in aluminum foil. (there may be something to the foil hat idea)also cruise the dollar store for likely items. (there is a whole lot of things there that are well suited for a SHTF situation). I hope this helps some, I can relate to being on a tight budget and trying to be prepared.

  22. P. Tabakaru & Rourke & all – so if I have a non-working (or working) microwave I can put my stuff in it and let it sit in the garage and it will protect those items? That seems easier than making a cage………

  23. The books I consider most important I purchase a hard copy of,I go manual with as many tools as possible and have paper copies of important documents including photos.

    Saving the technology is important (and we love our technology in this house)and having communications is too, but being able to do without is important too. I need to know that we can manage comfortably without our stuff. I actually like it when we have a blackout as it gets me thinking about what I need and want.

    Battery operated radio comes top of my list, actually a wind up one would be better. Still trying to find a good one without spending too much but looking.

    I try to have all my ducks in a row 🙂


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